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High School Sports, homeschooling, and equal access


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#1 Camy

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 09:58 AM

My twin sons will be 9th graders (give or take...LOL) next year. They are talented football players and desire to take this sport seriously. We have discussed this matter with them and felt they may have to attend classes at one of the local high schools in order to have playing privileges.

After many inquiries, we were given numerous different answers and narrowed down the conclusion that this sort of thing may be up to the school's athletic director or state high school athletic association.

It appears that they may be asked to take 4 core classes in order to be sports-eligible. We are not entirely against this, yet would prefer to keep homeschooling in the core classes. Courses like typing, computers, foreign language, and music are appealing options, however.

I am doing as much research as possible right now and learned of the "Tim Tebow Law." If this doesn't sound familiar, Tim Tebow was the Heisman Trophy winner this year. He was homeschooled throughout high school and participated on a few school teams. The law in his namesake mentions equal-access to school activities for homeschoolers based on the fact that homeschoolers are taxpayers.

Does anyone have experience or suggestions on how we should approach the schools regarding this issue? I'd like to be respectful and friendly about it, yet would like the school to know we are serious about pursuing this matter further if necessary.

Please email me personally, if possible. ([email protected])

Thanks!

Camy

#2 Linda in NM

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 10:10 AM

many of us are interested in this, and I've found that requirements vary by state. Our governor in NM pushed through a law allowing homeschooled students to play one varsity sport, so my son will be able to play baseball and hockey (since hockey is not varsity in this god-forsaken state :)--can you imagine???)

#3 DollyM

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 10:30 AM

We have no such law in Maryland. We have active Christian Sports Leagues, as a result.

#4 Diana in OR

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 10:47 AM

In our district, ps students must be taking, and passing at least 5 classes in order to participate. Last fall,my ds was being hsed and playing football at the high school." I had to give them a copy of his 8th grade standardized test scores. In addition, all the players had a "yellow card" each week that every teacher had to sign with current grade and any other remarks on their progress. Ds' coach just let me fill out the yellow card each week. (I was blatantly honest, which ds didn't always like, lol.)

Other schools might not be so lenient. The thing about football is, at least here, there is no homeschool outlet for it. The ps is the only place to do it. It is the one sport that really motivates my ds to keep himself in shape. I couldn't keep that from him.

#5 Beth in TN

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 10:50 AM

Unfortantely, TN does not allow homeschoolers access to any public school classes or activities period. A homeschooler can not even play a sport with a private school if the private school plays against public school teams.

I belive Kentucky right next door to us allows homeschoolers to partcipate in sports.

On the military posts, the DOD schools allow homeschoolers to take classes and participate in sports and ROTC.

#6 Susan in IL

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 10:51 AM

It will vary depending on which state you live in. Even if the state has a law, sometimes it is up to the local district. The state sports organization also has a say. You need to check out - in order --
1. The laws (if any) in your state.
2. The state high school association by-laws.
3. The local school district policy on part-time attendance.
4. The local school district policy on sports eligibilty.

All that information can usually be found online. Once you know those and there are no roadblocks, then I would approach the school starting with the principal. I would request nicely in writing what your proposal is.

Hope this helps.

#7 Amy in NH

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 11:56 AM

Here in NH, homeschoolers have access to school sports teams *in the district in which they reside*. So if they wanted to play for a team in another district, say because the local school doesn't offer the varsity sport (or because the other district has a better team), they cannot. I think this applies to participation in private school teams if they play against public schools, as well, but I'm not sure.

It all goes by the individual rules for the state Interscholastic Athletics Association (NHIAA here).

#8 Christine in FL

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 01:10 PM

middle school/junior varsity/varsity football, basketball, and baseball through our local public school. Being members of the Home School Legal Defense Association, we first checked with them to be certain of the legal rights (complete with statutes) of home schoolers to participate in sports. Then, my husband met with the superintendent of schools, the principal of the school, and the athletic director. He explained that although our sons were homeschooled, we would like to support the school through the athletic program. We have found, in this instance, that they were very receptive to our participation.

One thing I would like to recommend...if your child is going to participate in the athletic program, visit the website for the high school athletic association for your state. In Florida (where we live), there are certain requirements and forms that must be submitted at specific times of the school year. Since we are the first home school family to participate in sports through the school, they were unaware of any of these requirements, so it falls to me to sure that everything is filed correctly. This is a vital part of your child's athletic participation since the high school athletic association will not make exceptions for anyone.

Hope this helps. We have thoroughly enjoyed our experience this year and are looking forward to many more years of it (I believe I have 9 more years of sitting in those bleachers!).

#9 KarenC

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 01:44 PM

KY is militant about not including homeschoolers in any school activity in any way. Dh and I have been discussing the best way to approach this and we are not sure where to begin.

Thanks,
Karen

#10 FloridaLisa

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 02:56 PM

Camy,

The law in Florida which allowed Tim Tebow to play was originally pushed by our homeschool lobbyist so that her son could participate in ps extracurriculars. Unfortunately, the legislative channels tooks so long that her son was unable to take advantage of the law. Do you have a state homeschool lobbyist? Can you find out what inroads have been made in your state? Can you find out what is being done around the state?

Also, you might want to check our a private school. Tebow (and his brother who also got a college football scholarship) played initially for a private school. Many private schools are very welcoming to homeschooled students.

HTH,
Lisa
(and if this is Camy of many boybarians and a couple little ladies, welcome back!)

#11 Margaret in CO

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 10:05 PM

It all depends on the state. Here in CO, we have full, equal access to all extra-curr, including sports. It's sure nice! And considering what my school taxes were this week, we'd better!:D

#12 Gwen in VA

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 10:16 PM

In Massachusetts, homeschoolers have full access to sports teams and extracurriculars IF they live in a school district that is amenable. One hs'er I know was captain of a ps high school swim team; another hs'er I know was co-captain of a ps high school soccer team. My kids participated in Odyssey of the Mind in MA through the public schools.

In Virginia, basically the homeschoolers don't have ANY access to school programs, sports or otherwise. :(

#13 Ms. Riding Hood

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 02:10 PM

Learn your state law. They may defer the decision to local districts, but that would be the place to start. If you find out that your state has equal access, then call the school and find out who you need to talk to: principal, AD, coaches, etc. When you make the initial call, the secretary may not *know* who to hand you off to, and whoever you meet with may not know the law. I'd print off a copy of that and carry it along, not to use as a "sword" but just so you can pull it out and show them the highlighted portion that indicates that you have equal access, in case they say you do not. :)

Our kids participated in band and sports in Colorado and are now doing this in Minnesota. At all times school personell have been wonderful, inviting, glad to have us. However, I would think the welcome a student gets depends on the attitude of individual administrators. We are fortunate to live in a rural area that lacks players. They are glad to have our kids to fill up the team!

Also, if you are able to be involved in sports booster clubs that is a nice way to become more "part of the gang" of school parents/coaches. You may not be seen so much as an outsider or intruder, but rather someone who supports the team as a whole.

Good luck! We feel so fortunate to have access. If we didn't, it would have been a serious roadblock to homeschooling for my dh (at least initially). I wish all had this available. :(

#14 Colleen

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 09:40 PM

Hi, Camy! I'm going to email you ~ and work on a handwritten letter, too!:) I am replying here, too, since this is a common topic of interest to so many. Washington state allows homeschoolers full access to district sports and extra-curriculars ~ which is how it should be nationwide, imo. There are many homeschooled students here who participate in public school activities or classes to one degree or another. Actually, the Christian school will work in partnership with homeschoolers, too.


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